On September 15th, 2018, the Health Options and Positive Energy Foundation, Inc. (HOPEDC) celebrated 30 years of bringing together the HIV+ Men’s community in Washington, DC.
HOPEDC’s informal group originated in 1988, during the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, when a small group of HIV+ Men met at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital during clinical trials of life-saving treatments. They decided to bind together for mutual moral support away from the hospital and began hosting private social events throughout the district. The clinical trial is long since history, but the fellowship that they started is still here today, with an active secret Facebook Group, an email Discussion list, and gatherings all over the Washington area.
The group remains active today, as the need for moral and peer support for HIV+ attendees has not changed. Over the years, services and support offered by HOPEDC have proven to be essential for the health and well-being of each Social attendee. The focus of the group is primarily directed to single gay men with HIV in the Washington, DC area, but all are welcome.
In 1996, the informal group became a non-profit 501C3 organization called The HOPE Foundation. Over the years, the group has grown to over 1200 individuals. The gatherings are now regular events called “The Monthly Social” where HIV+, and poz-friendly, gay/bi/trans/questioning men can meet and provide support for each other in the greater Washington/Baltimore area.
“We celebrate the dramatic medical breakthroughs that have turned HIV into a manageable condition, but we are deeply aware of the Social challenges of living well and responsibly with HIV,” explained Jimmy Garza, Vice-President of HOPEDC. “That is why, 30 years later, we are still here and will continue to be here as long there is a need.”
About HOPE DC
HOPE DC is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that serves the HIV+ Community in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. Services provided include the Monthly Social which offers a stress-free gathering that fosters mutual support, as well as and website to share articles, information, links and resources about living with HIV, a Facebook Secret Group, and also occasional public seminars or lectures. we also have monthly Brunches, and occasional Museum Tours, and Day Trips.
The HOPEDC philosophy is that by providing such services, they help HIV+ gay men foster a greater self-esteem and sense of community and that this in turn fosters the responsibility and behavior that helps diminish the spread of HIV.
The Group is funded by Generous Donations from Brother Help Thyself, Whitman Walker Health and Individual Private Donors.
To learn more about HOPEDC Like us on Facebook.
For more information about the group please visit http://www.hopedc.org.